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A selfish, cynical T.V. executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.
Frank Cross: It's Christmas Eve! It's... it's the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we... we... we smile a little easier, we... w-w-we... we... we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be!
[last lines] James Cross: My brother, the king of Christmas!
Daughter: Mom, when are we gonna get a real Christmas tree? Grace: When they're free!
Ghost of Christmas Present: Close your eyes...! And think of snowflakes and moonbeams and whiskers on kittens... [She notices Frank peeking and goes to jab his eys with two fingers] Ghost of Christmas Present: Nooooo peeking! [Frank blocks the jab and closes his eyes] Ghost of Christmas Present: Of rainbows, forget-me-nots... of misty meadows and sun-dappled pools. Oh, look! There's Mr Hedgehog. I wonder where he's going? Perhaps to HARLEM! [She punches Frank] Frank Cross: My jaw! Ghost of Christmas Present: Sometimes the truth is painful, Frank. [She slaps his face] Ghost of Christmas Present: But it's made your cheeks rosy and your eyes bright! Frank Cross: If you TOUCH ME AGAlN, I'll rip your goddamned wings off! Okay?
Frank Cross: The bitch hit me with a toaster!
Lew Hayward: I was a captain of industry; feared by men, adored by women. Frank Cross: Adored! Come on, let's be honest, Lew. You *paid* for the women!
[Props man tries to attach antlers to a mouse] Props man: I can't get the antlers glued to this little guy. We tried Crazy Glue, but it don't work. Frank Cross: Did you try staples?
[after pouring a bucket of water on a waiter he thought was on fire] Frank Cross: I'm sorry. You know I thought you were Richard Pryor!
Frank Cross: I get it. You're taking me back in time to show me my mother and father, and I'm supposed to get all goosey and blubbery. Well, forget it, pal, you got the wrong guy! Ghost of Christmas Past: That's exactly what Attila the Hun said. But when he saw his mother... Niagara Falls!
Frank Cross: Do you think I'm way off base here? Elliot: Yes. You're, well, you're a tad off base, sir. That thing looked like The Manson Family Christmas Special!
Claire Phillips: Taxi! Can you get me to the IBC building in three minutes? Ghost of Christmas Past: Which floor?
Frank Cross: I want to see her nipples. Censor Lady: But this is a CHRISTMAS show. Frank Cross: Well, I'm sure Charles Dickens would have wanted to see her nipples. Carpenter: You can barely see them nipples. Frank Cross: See? And these guys are REALLY looking.
Frank Cross: Same old Claire... still trying to save the world. Claire Phillips: You still trying to run it?
Frank Cross: I am the youngest president in the history of television for a reason: I know the people. Elliot: Well, uh... granted but the people already wanna watch the show. Frank Cross: [a pause; shouting] That isn't good enough! They have got to be so scared to miss it! So terrified! [Quieter tone] Frank Cross: Now if I were in charge, and I am. [laughs. IBC Executive laughs along with him but Frank looks at him and he shuts up] Frank Cross: Perhaps I can help you. Here's the kind of thing I would have done. Grace, cue it up. [Frank stands in front of the screens. Thunder sounds and ominous music start playing] Scrooge Promo Announcer: Acid rain. [Images and sounds of people screaming; Frank makes a screaming face] Scrooge Promo Announcer: Drug addictions. [Shows a guy groaning and shooting up on heroin. Scene changes to a jet taking off] Scrooge Promo Announcer: International terrorism. [Jet blows up in midair. Scene changes to a guy pulling a shotgun out of a car] Scrooge Promo Announcer: Freeway killers. [Guy with shotgun fires] Scrooge Promo Announcer: Now more than ever... Frank Cross: [Speaking along with announcer] It is important to remember the true meaning of Christmas. Scrooge Promo Announcer: Don't miss Charles Dickens' immortal classic Scrooge. Your life... Frank Cross: [Speaking along with announcer] ... might just depend on it. [Promo holds on the image of a nuclear explosion. Frank takes a sip of coffee and looks at the executives] Frank Cross: Not bad, huh?
Ghost of Christmas Past: You left Claire for Frisbee the dog? Frank, let me sum this up for you: you don't know who you are, you don't know what you want, and you don't know what the hell is going on! Frank Cross: I've made a few mistakes. I gotta live with that. But I do know who I am, I know what I want, and I know what's going on! Ghost of Christmas Past: [the Ghost has disappeared into a monitor, and whistles to get his attention] Hey, Frank! Up here! Frank Cross: What's going on? Ghost of Christmas Past: How should I know? I'm just the ghost! So long, sucker!
Elliot: Hello, IBC program room. Preston: This is Rhinelander. Who's the idiot that put that nut on the air? Elliot: Oh, uh, Brice Cummings is the idiot, sir, but uh... he can't talk to you right now because he's sorta tied up. Uh-huh. Oh, in fact, he just said that you were a flatulating butthead? Preston: A butthead? Elliot: He said he never felt that way about a man before, but you really looked good in a suit.
Frank Cross: Claire, the whole world. Whole world, Claire.
Frank Cross: I never liked a girl well enough to give her twelve sharp knives.
Frank Cross: I'm alive! Yes! I'm *alive*! Elliot: [aims a shotgun at Frank] Not for long!
Ghost of Christmas Past: Let's face it, Frank. Garden slugs got more out of life than you. Frank Cross: Yeah? Name one!
Frank Cross: We're gonna need champagne for 250 people, and send the stuff that you send to me. Don't send the stuff that I send to other people.
Frank Cross: [about Calvin] He's a bright little guy. What's wrong with him? Ghost of Christmas Present: He hasn't spoken since he saw his father killed five years ago. He just drifted away, like Sleeping Beauty. Frank Cross: I didn't know Grace's husband died. Ghost of Christmas Present: Oh Frank, don't you remember the time she wore black for a year? Frank Cross: I remember her wearing black... I thought it was a fashion thing. Everybody was wearing black! Ghost of Christmas Present: Oh Frank. Frank Cross: Well, is he going to be okay? Ghost of Christmas Present: It's his choice, only he can break the spell.
Frank Cross: [Screams and accidentally hits Grace] Oh God! Oh God! Grace, go watch the show! He's here for me! Come on! Come on! Give it to me! [falls to knees] Frank Cross: You think I'm afraid of you, the day I've had? I know what you came for. Come and get it, you pussy. Fake Ghost of Christmas Future: Brice! Brice Cummings: [Getting the Fake Ghost away from Frank, who's obviously been scared by him] Stop scaring Frank. Get this nutcake out.
Ghost of Christmas Present: [repeating the question] On the "Addams Family", what instrument did Lurch play? Frank Cross: I may be invisible, but I am *not deaf!*
Frank Cross: Quick! What time is it? Elliot: Somebody stole my watch!
James Cross: You know what they say about people who treat other people bad on the way up? Frank Cross: Yeah, you get to treat 'em bad on the way back down too. It's great, you get two chances to rough 'em up.
Claire Phillips: That's the one good thing about regret: it's never too late. You can always change tomorrow if you want to.
Frank Cross: I get it now! Then if you GIVE, then it can happen, then the miracle can happen to you! It's not just the poor and the hungry, it's everybody's who's GOT to have this miracle! And it can happen tonight for all of you. If you believe in this spirit thing, the miracle will happen and then you'll want it to happen again tomorrow. You won't be one of these bastards who says 'Christmas is once a year and it's a fraud', it's NOT! It can happen every day, you've just got to want that feeling. And if you like it and you want it, you'll get greedy for it! You'll want it every day of your life and it can happen to you. I believe in it now! I believe it's going to happen to me now! I'm ready for it! And it's great! It's a good feeling, it's really better than I've felt in a long time. I, I, I'm ready. Have a Merry Christmas, everybody. [Calvin steps forward] Frank Cross: Did I forget something big man? Calvin Cooley: [nods, speaks his first words in five years] God bless us, everyone!
Earl Cross: All day long, I listen to people give me excuses why they can't work... 'My back hurts,' 'my legs ache,' 'I'm only four!' The sooner he learns life isn't handed to him on a silver platter, the better!
Frank Cross: Would you *please*, for the love of *god*, and your own body!, stop the damn hammering?
Frank Cross: Grace, put yourself down for a towel, too. Grace: What about my bonus? Frank Cross: Towel and a facecloth.
Frank Cross: You're staying here with me. We're working late. Grace: But I have to take my son to the doctor. Frank Cross: GRACE! When I work late, YOU work late! Grace: But I made the appointment two months ago! Frank Cross: [Inconsiderately] I DON'T CARE! Frank Cross: [grabbing Grace] Frank Cross: We're indivisible. If I'm working late, you GOTTA work late! If you can't work late, I can't work late! If I can't work late, I CAN'T WORK LATE!
Frank Cross: You've got a promo featuring America's favorite old fart reading a book in front of a fireplace! Now I have to kill all of you!
[Frank notices a picture of Santa and Mrs. Claus on the wall] Frank Cross: Grace, what in the hell is this? Grace: Oh, it's a painting, one of my kids did. See, there's Santa Claus and there's Mrs. Claus. Frank Cross: Honey, how many fingers does Mrs. Santa Claus have here? Grace: Eleven. Frank Cross: Eleven. Right. [rips it down] Frank Cross: It's crap. Lose it. I don't want it on the wall. [tosses it in the wastebasket]
[Frank is confronted by the ghost of his old boss] Frank Cross: No, you are a hallucination brought on by alcohol... Russian vodka poisoned by Chernobyl!
Lew Hayward: I don't mind you shooting at me, Frank, but take it easy on the Bacardi!
Ghost of Christmas Present: You know I like the rough stuff, don't you, Frank?
[Ghost of Christmas Past takes Frank to 1955] Frank Cross: Where are we? Ghost of Christmas Past: Where are we? You mean, "When are we?"
Frank Cross: [to the abstract/impressionist portrait on the wall] Mother... help me.
Frank Cross: Would you please hold the goddamn hammering, now!
The Ghost of Christmas Present: Oh, what is this, Frank? Oh, oh look, Frank! It's a toaster! [hits him in the forehead with the toaster]
Ghost of Christmas Past: Niagara Falls, Frankie Angel.
Herman: Boy, that Dick sure knows how to drink, huh? Frank Cross: Why do you keep calling me "Dick"? Herman: I'm sorry, Mr. Burton, I guess we don't know you well enough yet to call you Dick.
Ghost of Christmas Past: Go back to Jersey, you moron!
Ghost of Christmas Present: Sometimes you have to *slap* them in the face just to get their attention!
Claire Phillips: Why are you so angry? Frank Cross: Why haven't you learned how to button a coat?
Frank Cross: The Jews taught me this great word: Schmuck. I was a schmuck, and now I'm not a schmuck!
Ghost of Christmas Past: It's a bone, you lucky dog!
Frank Cross: I'm gonna give you a little advice, Claire... Scrape 'em off. You wanna save somebody? Save yourself! Claire Phillips: Oh, well, that's a really nice attitude on Christmas Eve! Frank Cross: Bah, humbug.
Frank Cross: It's not too late on Christmas Eve to have fun, you can call an old college roommate, call, you know an old army buddy, call your personal banker. HEY! I don't hear any partying in that booth, Elliot! Elliot: Great! [fires shotgun, silent pause down below on the set] Elliot: You heard him, party! Frank Cross: Now why wasn't I invited? Elliot: Now that was just an innocent window and you saw what I did to that! Ugh! You don't know who you're dealing with! Frank Cross: It's a night, you gotta party hardy Marty!
Frank Cross: Get me Standards and Practices in here. I want to see wreaths!
Frank Cross: Hey. Are you glad to see me, or is this a shotgun in your pocket? [toss gun away; it fires] Frank Cross: All right, you've heard it. How's this for a deal? I hire you back, pay you twice your original salary, and offer you a vice president position. Would you like my office? Elliot: No, I don't like your office. Frank Cross: That's SO YOU! Elliot: What's the catch? Frank Cross: The catch... [sniffs] Frank Cross: ...is that you need to shower, little man. You are RIPE! Whoo!
Claire Phillips: TAXI! Can you get me to the IBC building in 3 minutes? Ghost of Christmas Past: Which floor?
Frank Cross: There are people who are having trouble making their miracle happen; there are people who don't have enough to eat, there are people who are cold, you can go out and say hello to these people. You can take an old blanket out of the closet and go to them and say 'Here!', you can make them a sandwich and say 'oh by the way, here!'
[Elliot points a shotgun right in Frank's face] Elliot: Hello, wabbit! Frank Cross: Could you give me a head start? Elliot: Sure. One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three! [he fires]
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